I lost one of my best friends on Thursday. My faithful companion of over 15 years, my dog Dixxie. I miss her but I know she is in a place with no more pain. She gets to watch over her family all the time. It would take the same amount of time to tell her story, but these are the highlights.
Dixxie remembered the first time she met them. She saw this man and woman looking for cat food. The man said hi to her and she looked up at him, tilting her head. The man said “We have to get her!” She wanted that too. They seemed very nice. About an hour or so later, Dixxie walked out with her new Mom and Dad.
Getting used to a new and big house took some time. Dixxie was always hungry and wanted to chew on stuff. She didn’t understand why her Mom and Dad would leave stuff out for her to chew on. Like shoes, paint brushes, and even a lighter one time. She loved to chew on things. It was their fault for leaving those things out. They should have known. She would get scared sometimes when someone had a vacuüm cleaner cord out, or a belt or rope. It took a long time for her to break that habit and trust that her new owners would never hurt her. There were three others at the house. The cats. They didn’t know what to make of her. She was lots bigger than them.
When she turned three, a new addition came to the family. Living with three cats was tough, but a new baby… that was something new for Dixxie. She sensed this little guy was very vulnerable so when he slept she would sleep on the floor near his crib. A few months after Jacob came, Dixxie’s parents decided to move back east. She loved the warm southern California weather. She would run around sometimes with her friend next door, a German Shepard named Liebschen. She still remembers the plane ride to Philadelphia. Her foot got caught on something and she had to get stitches. What a bummer: move in with your human’s old friends and you have to walk around with a cone on your head!
As Jacob would eat, Dixxie would love to sit near him. Food was always falling on the floor. Quick treats, for free! As Jacob got older, he would play a game with her called Crocodile Dixxie. They would run around downstairs. It was just as fun as when her Dad would get on all fours, slouch his head down, and they would do their dance. She gave love as much as she received it. That was just what dogs do.
One day, when Jacob was two, his Mom took him for a walk outside. Dixxie was hurt she couldn’t go on the walk. As luck would have it, one of the windows was open. She just had to get through that screen! She ran and jumped right through it. Dixxie seemed to forget that it was a second-story window though. She made it though, not a scratch on her, and she found Mom and Jacob.
When Dixxie moved from California, there were three cats. One of them stayed in California. Rufus didn’t like the new baby and decided to mark his territory all over the house. It was sad for Dixxie’s Mom and Dad, but they didn’t have much choice. Dixxie, Herman and Mortimer made the move though. Dixxie remembered the dark times. When Herman died in 2006 and Mortimer in 2008. Herman had diabetes. He went to the vet one day and didn’t come back. Mortimer was sick for a long time. Dixxie’s dad took care of him for many years. When Mortimer got too sick, his parents had to take him to the vet the next day. Dixxie’s dad laid on the couch with Mortimer that night, but when the morning came, Mortimer had died in his Daddy’s arms.
It didn’t take long until the house had a new cat. Boots came at the end of 2008. They called him that because he had feet that looked like white boots. Dixxie was 8 when they got him. It was nice to have another pet in the house. Jacob was getting older and started going to school every day. Both of Dixxie’s parents worked so it got kind of lonely during the day. Boots was a welcome addition but Dixxie loved the humans too. Once in a while, one of them would come home during lunch to let her out. At night though, when everyone was home, those were good times.
On New Year’s Day of 2014, Dixxie got a new friend. A new dog named Bella! Bella was very energetic. Bella loved to cuddle. Dixxie now had to share her food and her treats. But Bella would lay next to Dixxie sometimes. They would chase each other at times. Dixxie was starting to feel older. She was 13 years and 8 months when she had a seizure one afternoon. It scared everyone. It took her a week or so to recover from that one.
One day, Dixxie’s family had a little party for her. She wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t her birthday and there were no holidays. She remembered someone saying she was 100 in dog years or something like that. She thought she was 14.28 that day, not 100. But it was a great day. She got extra treats that day.
Over the next few years, Dixxie felt the weight of age. Her back legs weren’t working like they used to. She couldn’t see as well. She spent more time laying down and sleeping. She couldn’t get up on the bed as much as she used to so Dixxie’s parents made a short little bed for her. She felt pain more and more but she wanted to be faithful to her family. She did her best. She remembered seeing Dad, Mom and Jacob look at her with a sadness in their eyes. Sometimes she could hear her name but they would be very quiet. One day her Dad moved out and she was sad. He would come over and visit her though when Mom was at work and Jacob was at school. He would let her out.
Dixxie remembers her last day. Dad and Jacob came over and they were laying next to her and talking to her for a long time. Both of them were crying talking to her. Dixxie knew she was way past her time. She lived a long, long life. More than most dogs. She contributed that to a family that loved her. And she loved them very much. She was so tired. She couldn’t walk as much anymore and she could barely make it up the stairs. She even fell at times. The last thing she remembered that day was Mom, Dad, and Jacob with her in the room. They held her tight and gave her lots of loving. She had a lifetime with them but she had to move on now.
In loving memory